The Invisible Generation in Melbourne

A Vision Forum project devised by Per Hüttner and Daniele Balit

Vision Forum presents The Invisible Generation, a series of contemporary art interventions inspired by texts by American writer William S. Burroughs. The project is primarily made up of unannounced performance-based interventions in the public sphere in Beijing, Melbourne, Shenzhen and Kiev.

The first part of The Invisible Generation is introduced at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery, where two major installations are presented: Do Not Go Gentle Court by Per Hüttner (Sweden) and Polka Dot by Mark Geffriaud (France). The two works redefine the gallery experience through reflections on the fabric of space and time. Being situated at the boundaries between installation and performance, they delineate a space that is the starting point for the Anti-Hospital, an open-ended and evolving platform which forms the core of the project and that includes an archive of instructions provided by a number of international artists. For its first incarnation, the Anti-Hospital has been interpreted and designed by Melbourne-based collective Greatest Hits.

The site specific work by Per Hüttner, Do Not Go Gentle Court, structurally changes the Margaret Lawrence Gallery. The usual entrance has been closed, forcing the audience to access the exhibition through the side corridor. Natural light has also been blocked out from the space and the work is installed where daylight normally illuminates the space. The work comprises a number of plants dressed to suggest human qualities. They are a judge, a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, and the jury. They transform the exhibition space into a court where time is suspended, just as the instructions exist outside time until the visitor brings them to life by acting them out.

The second gallery hosts Polka Dot (2008), an installation by Mark Geffriaud  inspired by a machine invented by scientist Léon Foucault in the Eightenth Century. The device was used to calculate the speed of light through a complex system of mirrors. Foucault was also the first to create a photographic rendering of the sun. We see that very same image moving around the space, spotlighting the images displaced on the dark walls. Geffriaud relates visual perception to a mechanical process which makes it fragmented and leaves to the visitor the task of rebuilding the connections between the visual elements forming the work. As with William S. Burroughs’ cut-up tape recorder experiments, Polka Dot is based on the idea of transition as a device to generate new ways of looking at reality.

Enacted, displayed and interpreted by Greatest Hits, the Anti-Hospital is focused around a collection of artistic documents providing instructions that are formulated as possible actions, performances, temporary artworks, objects and social situations, scores and sonic interventions proposed by absent artists and realized by local artists, non-artists and visitors to the gallery. Greatest Hits' videos enact, play with and read out the instructions and together create a sort of manual to aid and inspire the visitor to relate to them.

For the period of the exhibition the Anti-Hospital coordinates a series of events, performances, actions, and ways of disseminating the instructions through the media and the urban space of Melbourne including, local artists, students and a program on the screen and LEDs at Federation Square.

Participating artists in The Invisible Generation archive of instructions:

A Constructed World, Aasa Ersmark, Anna Scalfi, Carlo Steiner, Chen Wei, Chi Wo Leung, Christophe Bruno, Dinu Li, Etienne Cliquet, Gerrie van Noord, Hristina Ivanoska , Jean-Francois Robardet, Karen MacDonald, Kent Hanssen, Kylie Wilkinson, Natalia Kamia, Natalie Thomas, Pauline Curnier Jardin, Per Hüttner, Riccardo Benassi, Rik Bas Backer, Samon Takahashi , Seth Cluett, Veronica Kent and Sean Peoples, Yan Jun, James Webb, The Grossi Maglioni Magic Duo, Harriet Kate Morgan / Joint Hassles, USERNAME, Jon Phillips.

The following people have also participated in the various programs and events of the TIG in Melbourne: Amy Johannes, Kay Abude, Laura Whitfield, Ann Fuata, Jethro Harcourt, Lisa Imai, Alesh Macak, Pip Ryan, Sherry McLane Alejos, Kellie Wells, Nick Tammens, Sarah Haywood, Natalie Thomas, Kylie Wilkinson, Alex Rizkalla and Julie Davies.

The Invisible Generation: a project by William S. Burroughs filtered through time and Per Hüttner and Daniele Balit.



Organized by: Vision Forum in collaboration with the Margaret Lawrence Gallery and Satellite in Melbourne, Les Kurbas Centre in Kiev, CPU 798 in Beijing and OCAT in Shenzhen.

Supporting institutions: French Embassy in Australia, French Embassy in Kiev, Swedish Embassy in Peking, Swedish Embassy in Kiev, the Swedish Institute in Stockholm, The Consulate of Sweden in Guangzhou, Längmanska Kulturfonden in Stockholm and Linköpings Univesitet in Norrköping. A special thank you to FRAC Île-de-France.